A scholar, international trader and business executive, Kabalano Rampa is particularly interested in southern African and East Asian markets.
After graduating from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, Rampa worked for Alexander Forbes Botswana and Yarona Media Holdings.
He founded GC Premium Water and Ice, an ice solutions company for corporate and social events, before being awarded a Chinese government scholarship to study for an MBA, where he graduated top of his class.
It was during his studies that Rampa noted a huge gap between how Batswana perceived China and reality. He strongly believes that enabling Batswana to get better quality products at more competitive pricing requires both establishing solid supply channels and improving relations between the two countries on a person-to-person level, rather than just leaving it to state diplomacy.
To address this challenge, Rampa started an initiative called BONA China that serves as a platform for Batswana students and nationals to come together with Chinese companies and organisations interested in investing in Botswana.
This platform assists them in networking, creating synergies and charting a way forward for prosperous and sustainable future relations between the two countries.
The BONA China inaugural conference was held in Nanchang City, China in 2013, and was attended by the ambassador of Botswana to China. It also attracted over 80 delegates from Chinese companies that have a presence in Botswana and Africa, as well as Batswana nationals living in China.
This huge success was followed by a second conference in 2016 in Wuhan City, where companies wanting to expand into Botswana made presentations and showcased their products.
Rampa says he is currently planning to es- tablish a Botswana edition of BONA China, in partnership with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Gaborone. This platform will enable Batswana to have direct access to factories and businesses in China, where they can purchase a variety of products. It will also provide a platform for local Botswana businesses to present their products for export markets, both in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Rampa is adamant that Botswana can be globally competitive despite its small size. “I believe we have the potential to be in the forefront of African economic growth, and are able to be the new hub of Southern African trade. This is just my small part to play in the service of our country, not just for us but for generations to come,” he says.
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